Pipeline break detection using pressure transient monitoring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Sudden pipe breaks occur in water transmission pipelines and distribution mains. The consequences of these breaks can be very expensive because of the service interruption, the cost of repair, and damage to surrounding property and infrastructure. The costs associated with the pipeline breaks can be reduced by minimizing the break detection and location time. This paper presents a new continuous monitoring approach for detecting and locating breaks in pipelines. A sudden pipe break creates a negative pressure wave that travels in both directions away from the break point and is reflected at the pipeline boundaries. Using the pressure data measured at one location along the pipeline, the timing of the initial and reflected transient waves induced by the break determines the location of the break. The magnitude of the transient wave provides an estimate of the break size. The continuous monitoring technique uses a modified two-sided cumulative sum (CUSUM) algorithm to detect abrupt break-induced changes in the pressure data. The adaptive tuning of CUSUM parameters is implemented to detect breaks of differing sizes and opening times. The continuous monitoring technique is verified by using results from both laboratory and field experiments and shows potential for detecting and locating sudden breaks in real pipelines.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-325
JournalJournal of Water Resources Planning and Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Publication categoryResearch